Special forces soldier felt like he ‘flew through the air’ during explosion

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A special forces soldier had to spend two and a half years in surgery after an explosion which left him feeling like he was "flying through the air".

David Glenn, 42, is a retired veteran of the Green Beret Special Forces – the US equivalent of the SAS – having passed selection in 2001, five years after joining the army in 1996.

Soon after passing selection for the special forces, he was deployed to Afghanistan, as part of the 'War on Terror' waged in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

While on a joint mission with the French near Kandahar, he ran over an improvised explosive device and was seriously injured in the process.

Speaking to the Green Beret Foundation on YouTube, the 42-year-old said: "I ran over an improvised explosive device. Next thing I know, everything was black, never heard a boom, it was like the light switch went off.

"But I was still conscious. I had this sensation like I was flying through the air. And then I heard the 50 calibre on the lead gun trucks open up and I was like 'oh damn, we're in contact' and I didn't know how badly at the time I was injured."

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The explosive device caused so much damage that the entire left front side of the army vehicle David was in was completely destroyed, with him bearing the brunt of the injuries.

He explained: "I dragged the other people that were in the vehicle next to me, so that I could at least try to assess them.

"They weren't too bad thank God and then we just started focusing on me and getting myself patched up, but to be honest, I really didn't expect to make it home that day."

He added: "My last memory was before I passed out on the helicopter, next thing I know it's a mix of hallucinations and very vague memories between that point and when I woke up in Walter Reed nearly a month and a half later."

David's injuries were so serious that he had to spend the next two and a half years in surgery and recovery.

He lost his right leg, the ring finger on his left hand, had 18 fractures in his left ankle, lost tissue in his left inner thigh, had some genitourinary damage, along with damage to his left eye caused by shrapnel which penetrated all the way to his brain.

Trying to see the positive side of his traumatic experience, he outlined the body parts that weren't injured: "The only thing that wasn't hurt was my right hand and my right eye. And my hearing, which I have no idea how it stayed intact."

Due to the nature of David's injuries, he was told that he and his wife, Robin, would not be able to conceive naturally and would have to go through IVF.

After a couple of attempts, the pair were lucky enough to welcome their son Wyatt into the world, before a few years later having their daughter Megan – with the help of the Green Beret Foundation which helped fund their IVF treatment.

  • Military
  • Afghanistan
  • SAS
  • September 11

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